Could you pass the11-plus?
The race to secure a place at one of Kent’s grammar schools gets under way next month with as many as 13,000 children preparing to take the 11-plus test.
While the issue of selection remains politically contentious, the desirability of grammar school places remains high – so much so that several thousand of those vying to secure one come from outside Kent and Medway.
Changes to the Kent test, aimed at making it less coachable, came in two years ago.
County education chiefs were increasingly concerned that in some parts of the county, notably west Kent, the scale of private tutoring was giving an advantage to those who were able to afford to pay.
It has been suggested the emergence of a thriving coaching culture disadvantaged those from poorer backgrounds – which was the original idea behind grammar schools.
There were also concerns that private prep schools were accounting for a significant number of places.
Despite all of this, there has been no decline in the number of children taking the 11-plus for entry to one of Kent’s 33 grammars and the six in Medway.
And if the proliferation of test guides and practice papers in high street book stores are anything to go, many are still prepared to go the extra mile to enhance their child’s prospects.
The key dates for the 11-plus for Kent grammars are September 10 – for children who go to school in Kent – and September 12 – for children who go to school outside Kent.
The results will be posted on October 14 but this is only the start of the process.
For those that have passed, the next stage is to apply for a place at a particular school, along with those applying for places at non-selective schools.
It will not be until National Admissions Day on March 1 next year that children will find out which school they have been offered a place at.
In Medway Medway, pupils will either take the test on Tuesday, September 15, or Wednesday, September 16, where schools have opted for a week-day test or Saturday, September 19. Results will be posted on October 2. In both Kent and Medway, the results can be accessed online on these dates provided parents have registered to do so.
Primary school children across the county will be taking the 11-plus this month; left, changes were made to the test two years ago to make it less coachable